he only people left in the conference room were Director Vance, Gibbs and Harris. Director Vance walked over to the video screen and disconnected the feed to the SecNav office.
“I am sure the Secretary found this very interesting, I am sure there will be a full internal review in addition to the charges against the Admiral and Lieutenant Commander.” Vance said as he turned to look at Gibbs and Harris.
“Oh great, I lay out the case and give a compelling argument while the Secretary of Navy watches and then wipe it away by puking in the corner. I guess I can kiss my career goodbye.” Jillian said and tried to force a smile.
“Oh on the contrary Harris, I think this will put you on the fast track for a promotion within JAG. You were tough as nails when it came to stating your case. You have a stellar career ahead of you.” Vance said with a smile, “the other thing, will that can be excused, after all you just learned that your former boyfriend had no remorse over assaulting you to keep you quiet on a drug case.”
“Thank you Director Vance, I appreciate your kind words, I am just not sure I am cut out to be a lawyer after all.”
“Well, I will respectfully disagree with you. I think there are plenty of people out there who would love to have an advocate that cares like you do.” With those words, Vance moved toward the door. “I will give you two some privacy – It was a pleasure to meet you Lieutenant Commander, I am sorry the circumstances weren’t different though. Should you need anything, you let me know.”
“Thank you Director Vance, your kindness is appreciated.”
Once Vance left the room, Gibbs turned and looked at Jillian, the concern he had for her was evidenced in his eyes. “Well, now that the drug case is over and you solved it, how do you feel about it? Was it worth it?”
“Honestly, I feel a little empty inside. Was it worth it? I could have done without being assaulted – that was scary and I hope to never go through that again. I did think I was going to die and I did question if this case was worth that.” Jillian looked up and tried to give a weak smile. “Why didn’t you tell me that Dalton gave up Regan?”
“Well, I wanted you to finish your case, have the satisfaction of taking them down for the drugs. And me, well I wanted to finish my case and take them down for what they did to you. If I had told you, the emotion could have crept into what you were wrapping up and you didn’t need emotion, you had facts.”
“Honestly, a little empty inside. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad I solved it and took down a larger operation. I just didn’t want to believe that men I looked up to and cared for could be capable of this. I guess I am no judge of a man’s character.” Jillian looked up at Gibbs and gave a weak smile. “Why didn’t you tell me that Dalton gave up Regan?”
“Well, I wanted you to finish your case, have the satisfaction of taking them down for the drugs. And I wanted to finish my case, take them down for what they did to you.” Gibbs walked over and enveloped Jillian in a hug, one that she freely accepted and returned. Jillian did not want to let go, she kept her arms wrapped around Gibbs and placed her head on his shoulder. “I am very proud of Jillian. You did a great job with this case and you are one hell of an investigator.”
Jillian released Gibbs and stepped back to look him in the eye, “Thanks Gibbs. I just feel like this case made me realize I am a lousy judge of character. The two men I trusted most in this world were willing to kill me if need be and I never saw it until I was in deep. I never would have expected this from them.” She bowed her head and lowered her voice, “And the man I trusted the least ended up being the one to keep me safe.”
“Oh you are a better judge of character than you give yourself credit for,” Gibbs said, while lifting her chin to look into her eyes. “You didn’t let their relationship to you or the positions they held keep you from uncovering the truth. If you want a job with NCIS, I am pretty sure we can find you a team to work with. I am fairly certain that Director Vance would love to have you.”
Jillian pulled her shirt down to straighten her appearance. “What about you Gibbs, would you want me here?”
Gibbs smiled, “I would be proud to have you as a member of the NCIS team.”
Jillian turned and walked toward the conference room door, she stopped and wiped a tear from her eye and without turning around spoke, “Thank you Special Agent Gibbs; that means a lot to me, especially coming from you.” Jillian walked out of the conference room and quietly closed the door behind her.